NZ's cheapest EV gets even more affordable following 'feebate' announcement
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Drivers who buy new cars from July 1 will be able to get taxpayer-funded rebates of almost $8700 for a new electric or plug-in hybrid car, and about $3,500 for used cars.
But those who buy petrol vehicles will cop the cost under the Government's plan announced yesterday – from January 2022, buyers of new petrol cars will have to pay a fee of up to $5875 while those buying newly imported used cars face fees of up to $2875.
That fee would be based on emissions – for example, it would add $2,900 to the cost of a new Toyota Hilux, $1230 to a Kia Sportage, and $830 for a Nissan Navara.
It is expected to raise between $125m and $188m in its first year - and the revenue from the fee was expected to fully fund the rebates on electric vehicles. Petrol cars with lower emissions – such as a Toyota Rav 4 or Suzuki Vitara – would not face fees.
The measures were announced by Transport Minister Michael Wood and Climate Change Minister James Shaw yesterday, and are a rejig of the controversial "feebates" scheme which was scuttled by NZ First last term.
It offers rebates of $8,625 for a new electric car and $5750 for a plug-in hybrid car – but will not be given on cars that cost $80,000 or more. Cars must also have at least a three-star safety rating to be eligible.
Rebates of up to $3,450 will be given to those who buy used electric cars and $2,300 for plug-in hybrids. From January, smaller rebates will also be offered to buyers of other low emission cars.
The rebates will only be given for newly imported new and used electric cars which re registered after July 1, not those already in the New Zealand market.
Fees on higher emitting vehicles will start from January 1, 2022.
As with the rebates, Wood said those fees would not apply to cars already in the country, which meant low-income families who relied on cheaper second-hand cars would not face the fee.
Following the government's feebate announcement, David Crawford, the CEO of New Zealand's Motor Industry Association (MIA), issued a statement saying how "delighted" they were.
"We are also pleased that the Government has had the foresight to bring in an interim rebate from 1 July this year for EVs and PHEVs while it takes time to put in place the regulatory law required for a full feebate scheme which will come into effect in 2022.
"The level of rebate offered is significant. It will in our view address in part the lack of affordability new low emission vehicles cost compared to their internal combustion engine (IEC) equivalent models."
Brands that sell low-emission vehicles in New Zealand seemed to share the same sentiment, with Hyundai, Renault, and MG all issuing releases regarding their offerings.
Hyundai New Zealand General Manager Andy Sinclair says, “It’s great to see more and more Kiwis embracing Electric Vehicle technology. They are realising the environmental benefits and the reduced running costs through savings on fuel and taxes.
"But, with any new technology, the price can still be a barrier to entry. Any initiatives to get more Kiwis to consider Electric Vehicles is a good thing. Programmes like this make Electric Vehicles more accessible for New Zealanders.”
Rebates on New Zealand's cheapest new EV, the MG ZS, will mean that the starting price will fall to $40,365 (plus on-road costs) to eligible New Zealand buyers.
“MG is at the forefront of bringing affordable electric motoring to Kiwis,” said Peter Ciao, CEO, MG Motor Australia and New Zealand.
“We reduced price barriers to fast-track EV ownership in New Zealand, and this announcement aligns with our vision of Electric For Everyone.